Belfast Telegraph

Men accused of stealing car and crashing it in Belfast 'had crossbow and hammer', court hears

Two Belfast men accused of stealing a BMW car allegedly had "an adapted crossbow" in the boot, a court heard today.

Paul Liam Valliday (40) and 26-year-old Conaill McErlean appeared separately in Belfast Magistrates' Court after they were arrested when the stolen BMW crashed into another car and a wall.

Valliday, from Lower Regent Street faces seven charges including driving dangerously on Northumberland Street, driving while banned and without insurance.

He is jointly charged with McErlean, from the Cullingtree Road, on two counts of aggravated vehicle theft causing damage, handling the stolen BMW and going equipped for theft with balaclavas, stockings, high vis jackets, a cross bow as well as latex and woollen gloves on Friday.

The charges arise after a suspected stolen vehicle failed to stop for police, drove through a red traffic light and collided with another vehicle before hitting a wall.

A detective told the court he believed he could connect both men to their respective charges and, as Valliday did not apply for bail, he was remanded into custody to appear again on December 9 by videolink.

McErlean's solicitor lodged a bail application which police said was objected to on the grounds of the risk of further offences being committed.

He revealed that the stolen BMW car was "bearing false registration" plates and that when searched, police uncovered "pieces of weaponry" in the boot including a claw hammer and what he described as "an adapted cross bow."

The solicitor told the court his instructions were that McErlean did not know the BMW was stolen and had only accepted a lift to his part time, unpaid valeting job, claiming that he had been wearing rubber gloves to protect a cast on his left arm.

While District Judge Ken Nixon said it had been a "strong" application, he was refusing bail because if the risk of further offences.

McErlean will appear on the same date as Valliday.

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